The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Echo Park Rising — A Community Affair

Photo credit: Breanne Foster

Businesses along Sunset Boulevard hosted local bands Aug. 14 through 16 as part of Echo Park Rising, a music festival to showcase up-and-coming talent in the area. Venues like Origami Vinyl, Lost Knight Pub, and Masa of Echo Park Bakery and Cafe all saw an influx of musicians and fans throughout the three days of the event.

Spaceland Presents, a company that puts on concerts throughout Los Angeles at venues such as The Echo and The Echoplex, the Getty Center and the Natural History Museum, helped sponsor and organize Echo Park Rising.

Vikki Acuna, a Spaceland employee, worked at the check-in and information booth outside Taix French Restaurant, one of the venues, over the weekend.

“Echo Park Rising is a community effort,” Acuna said. “It showcases the art, the music, the stores and the businesses.”


Echo Park Rising featured local businesses, which not only acted as venues for musicians, but also offered discounts and sales for the event. Some of the unique shops in the area include BlueCollar Working Dog, a dog-friendly establishment that sells specialty supplies for working dogs, Manly and Sons Barber Co, and the Time Travel Mart, whose website describes it as the convenience store for time travelers.

Last year, 25,000 people were present at the festival, and they expected 30,000 people this year, Acuna said.

Justin Volkens, front man of the Knitts, performed an acoustic set with his band Saturday at the Echo.

“This is the Mecca of where you want to be,” Volkens said about the festival. The Knitts are a garage-rock band from the San Fernando Valley consisting of three brothers and their two best friends. The group, managed by Knitting Factory Management, has been around for five years and is currently shopping their record around to record labels, Volkens said.

“It means a lot; we pushed really hard to get here,” Volkens said. The Knitts were one of more than 250 bands to perform at the three-day event. Some other featured names include Mr. Elevator and The Brain Hotel, Hanni El Khatib, the Fakers, and Superhumanoids.

Baley Wynn, a first-time attendee of Echo Park Rising, attended Trevor Menear’s performance on Saturday.

Wynn, who had never seen Menear before the festival, described him as “one of the most talented” performers she had ever seen.

“He plays guitar,” said Wynn. “It’s cool to see it live.” Wynn intends to attend the festival again next year.


In addition to the musicians performing, Echo Park Rising also featured food trucks and stands in an area called “Vendor Village,” which was located by the Liberty main stage behind Taix Restaurant. Additionally, those 21 and older could access the beer garden set up between the stage and the restaurant.

Even businesses and food trucks not in Vendors Village were able to profit from the event. Several small food trucks were stationed along Sunset Boulevard and even in public parking lots close by.

Ashley Vergara, a brand educator for VitaCoco, passed out free samples of the product at one such truck in the parking lot behind Stories Books and Café, an eclectic book store that hosts different community events and one of the participants of Echo Park Rising.

Though Vergara couldn’t attend any of the performances, she could see the musicians and guests walking by and stopping for a drink to cool down in the summer heat.

“It’s a really wonderful festival,” Vergara said. “I love that it’s free; that’s awesome.

“It’s a good way of revitalizing the neighborhood.”

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